Promoting income diversification for farmers

FAO commissions poultry farm at Holima Agribusiness Centre

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has handed over a poultry farm with two hundred and fifty chicks and feed to the Holima Agribusiness Centre in Bo District through a project titled, Sustainable Poultry Development.

The project is from the Telefood Special Fund provided by the organisation with the request of the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS).

It aims to enhance diversification in production, particularly in poultry to support the nutritional status of the membership of the ABC together with its communities and ensure the constant flow of income to the farmers year round. It will also serve as alternative not only for livelihoods activities but also for the consumption of bush meat thereby helping to minimize the risk of Ebola Virus Disease resurgence.

The Assistant FAO Representative, Programme, Joseph Brima admonished members of the ABC to take adequate control of the poultry and provide the required supports to ensure sustainability and benefit for all.

“You are expected to be feeding them and be watchful against thieves and other harmful animals” Mr. Brima stated.

Receiving the consignment, the Chairlady of the Holima ABC, Mariama Koroma expressed gratitude to FAO for a continued support to the centre and the community as a whole. She stated that the poultry will provide an additional source for protein in their diet and improve their income.

She promised that her membership will work hard to ensure that all conditions are met to ensure productivity. She explained for example that the Centre will always have rice-brand to feed the chickens as it runs a milling site. Members will also plant corn to feed the layers.

The Holima Agribusiness Centre comprises eight Farmer Based Organizations with two hundred members who live in several villages in the Kakua Chiefdom, all depending on agriculture for their livelihood and the sustenance of their families.

With FAO’s support, two members of the Centre have already been trained in good poultry management and acquired specific skills in food mixture, right feeding measurement, disease prevention and sanitary measures, vaccination, egg collection and handling.

The chicks are expected to start laying eggs in three months and each will lay once daily for a year and half period
It is also expected that more women and youths will be trained in improved skills of restocking of chicks and management practices; increase in the income of the direct beneficiaries and boost in the revolving fund established to support other livelihood activities in the community.